As of 23 Jun 2014, I have been wearing Invisalign for over 2 months now and it is a great time to give a summary update, share my unique experience and my personal advice to all mature people out there if you are considering Invisalign

Quick recap on why I want to wear Invisalign:

  1. My overbite was getting more serious as I grow older. I still wish to kiss well without the upper jaw getting in the way. Overbite also created problem of having too much saliva coming out of the mouth while you are talking.
  2. Braces; no matter if they are metal, ceramic or lingual are definitely out for me. It may be fun and exciting for teenagers but as mature PMETs, we do not wish to let anyone know about us wearing aligners unless we wish to reveal. No one is too old for Invisalign because no one is too old to look good!
  3. I have inherent square jaws since young. Hopefully by pushing back my upper jaw by up to 5.5mm in 22 months, I can enjoy a smooth face profile.

My part 1 of Invisalign journey can be founded here – http://www.andrewchow.sg/andrew-chows-i-dental-invisalign-journey-part-1/

Treatment Plan/Appointment

–          2 Jan – 1st appointment. It will be a relatively swift process. Proceed to level 1 of Capital Tower took my Xray and Photo. Then proceed to 9th level and see Dr Cheng for the first time and he will do basic check on the teeth to check for any “teething” problem. He will also ask every patient what do they like or dislike about their teeth or even face profile. I felt this was a very personable step for a dentist to device a treatment to incorporate patient’s preference and his professional advice.  A mould of my upper and lower jaws was done. First consultation was a breeze.

first-visit-i.dental

–          Dr Cheng is a very jovial person; too bad you can’t see his expression because he is wearing a mask all the time.  Technically very few patient have seen his face! It wasn’t until one day a patient saw him in person (after mask is off) if he will one day consider wearing Invisalign himself.

Dr Cheng Eng Wah wearing Invisalign

–          10 Jan – 2nd Appointment – Dr Cheng’s brief on treatment plan; I was told that my molars need to be extracted, 4th from center. Dr Intan briefed me about the Invisalign plans

Mould-model

–          11 Feb – 3rd Appointment – Making of the real mould for USA to provide the aligners. This is the real start of the invisliagn journey. It begins with the production of a mould to digitalise the teeth profile. From the teeth and jaw profile, the dentist is about to do modelling and decide on treatment plan. This will also be shown to patient upon receiving the first set of aligners.

making-of-mould

–          19 Feb – 4th Appointment – I was told my lower jaw mould wasn’t done crisply and I had to redo. Sometime this cannot be avoided; it is no fault of anyone. I was told that in future a scanner will be used to insert into the mouth to digitalise the entire profile. I was told by some clinic assistants that some people may not feel comfortable with this process; they may end up gagging. For me; breathing through my mouth for the 2-3 minute span helps a lot.

making-of-lower-mould

–           4 April – 5th Appointment – I finally received my aligners. Dr Cheng was patient to show me how to put on and off my aligners. My first attempt was horrible as I was trying to do it on the dentist chair with nurses around me. I was pulling a little too hard that they fear I will break my aligners into 2. I learned that longer thumbnail will help a lot in removing aligner. It is a down and out action on both sides and aligners will be off.

Dr-Cheng-showing-invisalign-to-Andrew

First 2 pairs of Aligners

2 May – 6th Appointment – First thing Dr Cheng told me was “Your Invisalign honeymoon is over”. What he meant was one month after my first aligners; it’s time for attachment to be installed. So why are attachments needed? Through research and development and their teams of engineers, Invisalign have designed “attachments” that are placed on the teeth in a strategic position and with a specific design to move that tooth in the direction that was treatment planned by the doctor. These “attachments” are placed using a tooth colored composite resin, similar to what is used to place traditional braces on the teeth.  These are removed at the end of the aligner therapy very easily with a polishing tool and no damage is done to the teeth. Dr Cheng calls it the “XYZ positioning of teeth” powered by Invisalign.

Attachment-visit

Invisalign with Attachments

P.S : The above photo is just an illustration, it is not my actual photo; the attachment position and location are very similar to mine however.

Please look out for my next post on “What Others wont tell you about Invisalign” coming up in 2-3 weeks time.